Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grossmont Middle College High School grads rack up $287,000 in student awards

Does it pay to study in high school? 
The 36 graduating students of Grossmont Middle College High School think so.  To help pay for their upcoming first year attending college, they have aggregated a total of $287,000 in  scholarships, grants and work study awards.
That's an average of $7,972.22 per student with which to start the Fall 2013 college semester.
In winning these awards, the students compiled a class average grade point average of 3.73 -- with  4.0 being a perfect A and 3.5 qualifying for honors.
By no means did the students spend all their times at home or in the library studying.  According to their counselor, Sharon Neumann, in their two years at Grossmont Middle College High School,  they completed over 10,000 hours of internship hours at  jobs in a wide variety of fields.
That was an average of over 255 hours per student in such areas as medical research, business, government and the arts.
Of the 36 students, three compiled perfect 4.0 averages as counted by colleges -- Laila Syeda Hamzai, the valedictorian; Yousif Namir Awakeem, and Justin Tyler Sax.
Hamzai, whose parents were refugees from Iran, said during commencement exercises on Monday, June 10, that in the high school, located on the  Grossmont College campus, students learned that they had "diverse philosophies about life, religion and politics but we learned to tolerate one another" and in many cases become close friends.  The diversity "helped us clarify our thinking and view the world with more mature perspective."
During their two years as high school students eligible to take college-level classes on the Grossmont campus, the 36 students earned a total of 1,075 transferrable college credits-- a fraction less than 30 units per student.  That, noted the school's retired founder, Cathy Zemlick, is the equivalent of a full year of college.  She pointed out that for the parents of these students that means one year less of tuition, residence hall fees, books, and incidental fees for their college careers.   

Sarah Lynee Gehman compiled the most number of transferrable college units: 43.   That is nearly the equivalent of three semesters worth of college work.

Most students in the graduating class have already been accepted as incoming students at a variety of public and private colleges and universities across the nation.  Others have chosen to serve in the U.S. military or to do missionary work for their faith.
High school students who wish to attend  the Middle College High School -- so called because it is a program somewhere between a high school and a college -- need to go through a  Grossmont Union High School applications and interview process that starts in the February of the year that they are  10th graders. The school offers courses for 11th and 12th graders.
More information about this program is available on the school's website,